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MrEarl

By-laws, voting, membership dues etc

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Buzzin on my fourth cup of coffee this morning and after reading some of the comments related to the results of this years Board of Directors meeting relative to the outcome of newly elected officers, I thought I'd start a new thread to gather ideas of how this process might could be improved.

I'd like to learn more of the process but have yet to find the by-laws. Can some one point me to them.

It seems one of the current problems is maybe not so much a lack of interest in who is captain of the ship but rather members being just to busy (spelled l a z y) to remove the ballot from the Bugle, spend 2 bits on a stamp and mail it in.

Consider this.

Tie the voting for the BOD and possibly even the officers to an annual membership dues collection and have an anniversary date of June 1. Each year, two months prior to the June 1st anniversary date, renewal notices are sent out (as is currently done monthly) along with a ballot and the standard "vote for me" spill from each individual seeking election to the board or office. New members joining the club would have their initial dues pro rated (in two month increments) from their joining date to the June 1 anniversary date.

Lots more to be figured out relative to whether the voting would be for the board or for the officers etc. If for the board, the number of votes for each member should be considered by that board in their decision and voting for officers.

Well, thats my 2 cents and four cups of coffee idea this morning. Anymore?

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...Tie the voting for the BOD and possibly even the officers to an annual membership dues collection and have an anniversary date of June 1. Each year, two months prior to the June 1st anniversary date, renewal notices are sent out (as is currently done monthly) along with a ballot and the standard "vote for me" spill from each individual seeking election to the board or office. New members joining the club would have their initial dues pro rated (in two month increments) from their joining date to the June 1 anniversary date.

...?

I would not want to be the office manager responsible for sending out 8,000+ renewal notices, and receiving potentially 16,000+ responses within a two month period.

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I was one who was too lazy to vote but it goes further...I had no clue of the issues or even the candidates and I hate to randomly vote for someone.

Still no excuse as it is imperative for members to be informed and involved. I can say that I will be both from now on.

That all being said, I think the way to start the improvement is to try open up the discussion on club issues in it's own subforum. Yes that sounds like having a dreaded "Political" forum but properly moderated and enforced to only club business should help to keep the noise down. The tone of NO POLITICAL TALK discourages some to speak up on club issues even here on the boards...myself included. With this subforum we could all see where potential BOD members stand on all the issues that arise. First argument to come up is that not everybody comes to the forums...well that may be true but that shouldn't eliminate the exchange of ideas for the many of us more active members that do come here. Also many more come and "Lurk" than post, its a perfect medium for this type of information exchange. For starters we could have "stickies" for the list BOD members and contacts, another for the charter ect ect, posting important dates for votes or other requirements for membership participation.

The main reason for me that a new separate subforum would help is that it would contain a record of positions for whoever may be up for BOD, a simple search of the individual and that subform around voting time and you could read all about him/her where they stand without having to filter out all the other car talk. Handled correctly I see a great improvement in club involvement and participation in it's direction.

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I would not want to be the office manager responsible for sending out 8,000+ renewal notices, and receiving potentially 16,000+ responses within a two month period.

It might seem to make more sense to do it all at once, BUT the logistics of such could be very overwhelming IF more people voted. BUT, if the BCA might dip into some of their reserves and contract for an optical scanner (vote counter) to do the manual work of counting and compiling the votes, then that volume of votes could be more manageable. Perhaps even rent a system and a competent operator, overseen by Joel The Accountant, from a local municipality?

Might it also be that as the BCA is so far-flung in geographic nature, many members might not want to vote for somebody they personally don't know or haven't ever met? Perhaps the printed bios aren't enough for some people? I certainly hope it's not "general apathy" that "somebody" will be there to do things, even if they might be wrong!

As financial issues have tended to seemingly result in the very small print in The Roster, it might be advisable to get a full page magnifier lens BEFORE starting to try to read the By-Laws contained within. Perhaps even a more readable font at that small print size might be something to consider?!

As My3Buicks mentioned in the other thread (replying to my comments that perhaps the top vote-getter would automatically be BOD Pres . . .), after I wrote that I realized that there would need to be an "escape clause" of sorts where the top vote getter could have the option of "opting out" of that situation OR could request the stated rules be deactivated for the particular vote cycle.

Whether or not the voting results of whom on the newly-seated BOD voted for for particular BOD Officer positions was publicly printed, I feel it would be good if these voting results were made available to "interested parties" upon request.

One thing I feel we DO NOT need on the BCA BOD is any 'semblance of there being an "in group" that always votes together and always get things done as they might desire. The best observed results usually happen with a somewhat diverse group of BOD members who fully discuss, civilly and respectfully (hopefully) issues, even compromising in some areas as options are discussed, with the end result being that the BCA as a whole benefits (in the long and short term!) by their ultimate decision. Input from the membership should also be solicited on major items (as the spousal voting issue, when it was proposed) well in advance of the final discussion and vote.

As with local chapters, I have felt that the club is about the members of the club rather than about whom the leadership might be. Therefore, when the BCA BOD has started doing more email meetings than physical "see the whites of their eyes" meetings, it set the stage for more "privacy" than openness in how the club was being run by the people WE put there to do that. Without any of these email "meetings" being listed on the BCA Webpage, it only sends that signal to the membership or anybody else who might desire to see what's going on (i.e., potential members) in the organization. Yes, I've presented my concerns to particular members on the BCA BOD and have been advised that this situation is being considered . . . at least that was the case under Brian D.'s Presidency, which might not now be operative, with all due respect.

I also presented my concerns regarding the Chapter Directors being advised of BCA BOD Meeting Agendas prior to the meetings. Brian D. did that, too! Sending the Chapter Directors a printed agenda prior to this year's BCA BOD Meeting at the National Meet. That way, I had time to share this agenda with our chapter members at our monthly meeting BEFORE the fact. Thanks, Brian D.! I hope this continues, too!

Thanks for your time and consideration.

Willis Bell 20811

Chapter Director, North Texas Chapter

Buick Club of America

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A good idea, Stealthbob, but there can also be a fine line between "moderation" and "censorship" of posts. I make that comment respectfully of the need for the former and not the latter. Perhaps "paraphrasing" might be allowed by the moderator, in some cases such that membership's ideas are not lost in the process?

As I noted in the other thread . . .

Hopefully we can make some dang nice lemonade . . . !

Respectfully,

Willis Bell 20811

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I have not voted for BOD directors because, as mentioned above, I feel that a paragraph or two in the Bugle is not nearly enough to make an informed decision on something as important as voting on who runs and sets the direction of the club. I think a forum here to discuss issues and ideas for the club is a good idea.

As for getting members to vote, maybe each chapter could remind their members to vote during their monthly meeting as the voting nears. Or maybe chapters could offer to have the members bring their ballots to the meeting and then they can vote after the regular meeting. The chapter could also offer to collect and mail the ballots to the BCA. This might also get more members involved in what is going on with the National club, or at least be more informed.

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Guest BJM
Buzzin on my fourth cup of coffee this morning and after reading some of the comments related to the results of this years Board of Directors meeting relative to the outcome of newly elected officers, I thought I'd start a new thread to gather ideas of how this process might could be improved.

I'd like to learn more of the process but have yet to find the by-laws. Can some one point me to them.

It seems one of the current problems is maybe not so much a lack of interest in who is captain of the ship but rather members being just to busy (spelled l a z y) to remove the ballot from the Bugle, spend 2 bits on a stamp and mail it in.

Consider this.

Tie the voting for the BOD and possibly even the officers to an annual membership dues collection and have an anniversary date of June 1. Each year, two months prior to the June 1st anniversary date, renewal notices are sent out (as is currently done monthly) along with a ballot and the standard "vote for me" spill from each individual seeking election to the board or office. New members joining the club would have their initial dues pro rated (in two month increments) from their joining date to the June 1 anniversary date.

Lots more to be figured out relative to whether the voting would be for the board or for the officers etc. If for the board, the number of votes for each member should be considered by that board in their decision and voting for officers.

Well, thats my 2 cents and four cups of coffee idea this morning. Anymore?

I agree the vote needs to go up. BUT Brian received the most votes by far and still got booted out as President. So more voting in this case wouldn't have prevented the kind of politics that occurred.

To increase the vote count, the club needs to make the process as fluid as possible. Pre-paid ballots, perforated, tear off and send in.

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Guest BJM

Bob

I like your thinking. That is a GREAT idea (seperate sub forum on BCA Business). Here's why. 1st, the BCA General forum can go back to general topics and new forum users won't automatically see a perceived negative infighting. 2nd, when a politically charged post appears in the General forum, Roberta can punt it into the BCA Business subtab. 3rd, this is our only forum, so members don't have any other place to go to discuss these matters. Finally, yes, these are important issues and the tone needs to respect each other.

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Guest BJM
I have not voted for BOD directors because, as mentioned above, I feel that a paragraph or two in the Bugle is not nearly enough to make an informed decision on something as important as voting on who runs and sets the direction of the club. I think a forum here to discuss issues and ideas for the club is a good idea.

As for getting members to vote, maybe each chapter could remind their members to vote during their monthly meeting as the voting nears. Or maybe chapters could offer to have the members bring their ballots to the meeting and then they can vote after the regular meeting. The chapter could also offer to collect and mail the ballots to the BCA. This might also get more members involved in what is going on with the National club, or at least be more informed.

Good ideas too. See, interested members can bring up ideas on BCA Business without finger pointing. Look at what has been accomplished in a brief amount of time. Chapters meet virtually monthly. Assign an individual with integrity to gather the ballots, place them in an envelope and mail to the vote audit co (vote counter).

As for BOD candidates comments, when I asked a couple of questions on this forum, I received PM's from those active forum BOD candidates. That helped me make an informed decision. Call the BOD candidates if you need to, email direct, but I think this current group of BOD candidates more then in the past - have been active on the forums.

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There is a big flaw in the logic of the person getting the most votes is to be the President.

There are 9 members of the BOD with elections for 3 each year. In the current year, there would only be 3 candidates. the other 6 would not be eligible. So, The President would change every year.

A different scenario would be this: If all 9 are allowed to run. What if person "A" received 700 votes this year but person "B" received 800 the year prior? Does person "B" become president because a higher total? at what point do you cut off the most votes tally?

Some things to ponder over, which probably explains why the BOD officers elections were set up the way they are quite some time ago.

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As for BOD candidates comments, when I asked a couple of questions on this forum, I received PM's from those active forum BOD candidates. That helped me make an informed decision. Call the BOD candidates if you need to, email direct, but I think this current group of BOD candidates more then in the past - have been active on the forums.

That is sort of the rub for me...why not openly comment on the current affairs?

Open comments are held to account when decisions are made, why this secrecy and back channel communication? It only leads to what we have currently...and that is mistrust of the process. I honestly believe that ALL BOD members are altruistic to the betterment of the club but where there are shadows there are questions.

Thanks to Rick and Pete for posting....in the other thread. I would like to hear from the other leaders on what they think of the process and where they want to take the club to improve this situation.

Edited by stealthbob (see edit history)

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Guest BJM
That is sort of the rub for me...why not openly comment on the current affairs?

Open comments are held to account when decisions are made, why this secrecy and back channel communication? It only leads to what we have currently...and that is mistrust of the process. I honestly believe that ALL BOD members are altruistic to the betterment of the club but where there are shadows there are questions.

Thanks to Rick and Pete for posting....in the other thread. I would like to hear from the other leaders on what they think of the process and where they want to take the club to improve this situation.

Bob I can only say that those that responded to my question were specifically addressing my question. It may or may not have been of interest to you and every one else so a general posting may not have been the way to go. I think John Schieb, Chuck Kerls and Brian Clark sent me PM's but it wasn't politics. I was just clarification of my personal question.

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Bob I can only say that those that responded to my question were specifically addressing my question. It may or may not have been of interest to you and every one else so a general posting may not have been the way to go. I think John Schieb, Chuck Kerls and Brian Clark sent me PM's but it wasn't politics. I was just clarification of my personal question.

That's fine, I can respect that....I'm not saying that every discussion involving a BOD member requires to be published but this still leaves the rest of us(me) with questions.

I guess I'm just thirsty for anything from these individuals (my leadership), be it an open comment or a stand on an issue.

We want to encourage participation in the process right? Well forcing the membership to each email the BOD members individually rather than just have BOD members openly comment is just silly....especially when we have the perfect medium for the exchange of information right at hand.

I apologize if I am belaboring this topic more than what may be required....I will step back and see where this goes.

Edited by stealthbob (see edit history)

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Let me respond to one aspect of the many proposals and suggestions. Members have talked about possible collusion by some directors in the election of the new president. Do we really want to have the chapters do a collective mailing of ballots by chapters. Nothing to stop it, but I think not a good idea - think about it! It is very similar to what what some are thinking.

And I basically agree with Kevin Kinney, the current election process prevents any long term alliances. But I do think with a sizable BOD stretching all around the country, and now Canada, there are some alliances that can develop over the years, and that is just natural. Some of these can be good (working with friends for the common good), while some can get to a point of creating serious problems for an organization.

As to future BOD elections, we might consider having the canidates address specific questions on current topics facing the BCA, as prepared by a Nominating Committee, and then allow a brief individual personal statement. Thius would replace the open resume type statements now presented.

Regarding the forum for questions, we have to remember, the forum is open to anyone, not just current BCA members. If I recall, I think Brian D. was trying to work out a members only forum, much as we now have for the directors (currently not heavily used).

And finally, a comment on the treasurer position. This too has suggestedcollusion to some. So, if it is not too late, my suggestion would be, if the idea is voted to name a more or less permanent treasurer, that the item be fully debated and the appointment made some time in the future. As Bill holds the regular position until July 2013, the BOD elect a treasurer from those members at that time, in the present format for 2013-14, and posibly 2014-2015, and the permanent iposition takes effect in 2016. This eliminates the suggestion of collusion for some unknown purpose, and also allows others to submit an application for the position.

I may have rushed through this as I have been away for a few days and came back early today (Sunday) to beat some traffic and heat, but also to monitor these situations. I fell like Brian, the Director position should be such that they are not beholding to any specific group, but able to join others to make decisions for the good of the Membership.

John D. Scheib

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Regarding the forum for questions, we have to remember, the forum is open to anyone, not just current BCA members. If I recall, I think Brian D. was trying to work out a members only forum, much as we now have for the directors (currently not heavily used).

John D. Scheib

Simple...make it mandatory for people who post in the "BCA business" thread be a member and to add their BCA# in their posts.

"Member's only" could also work with the new software being utalized, it just takes someone to administer the database of members.

For the record, I am somewhat tech savvy and could help with any logistics required to implement and maintain a "Members Only" section.

Just offering to help if I can....

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Good points, John. There was a Chapter that did mail all their ballots in together, back in the day, and it was very suspicious. Most of the suspicious suspects are long gone, RIP or wherever they ended up. The stories I could tell, but I won't............

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With all due respect, I don't know that any "among themselves" conversations about which BOD member might desire to fill which position might always meet the test of being "backroom deals", with the end result being a "power group" of sorts. There might also be some mention of which officer might desire to vacate their present position after the particular term/year is up. I suspect it might be somewhat normal for some casual discussions of this nature to happen.

I acknowledge rivgs's comments about my proposal of the top vote-getter being named BCA BOD President for that election year. I concur with his observations, too. Yet, it seems to me that the BOD Presidency tends to change hands each year already. There were a few cycles where I recall that it didn't, though. And a few times where a former BOD Pres went off of the BOD for their one cycle, then ran again, got elected, and was also elected as BOD Pres for that year, also.

Great comments!

Willis Bell 20811

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In the last 10 minutes I joined BCA, via the net. I was a member years ago, and enjoyed such. I went to 2 or 3 nationals with my bride of 52 years, and enjoyed them. My first Nationals didn't take a liking to my modified 41 Limited, in fact most would walk up to it, and once they saw it was modified, well they walked away. Since I have modified most all the cars I have owned, well I was use to that, and being a very positive person, I just reassured myself that we ALL have our likes and dislikes, so not a big deal.

It appears to me that attitudes within the BCA have changed somewhat and that's good IMO. Such is NOT the reason I just joined again, I am a true to BUICK fan, and actually have missed the Bugle, and now that there is a aaca site that has a Buick section, well I'm having fun, fun is good!

I have been following this thread and wonder if it was/is wise, or in the best interest of the club to express ones feeling on this site regarding the recent elections. I wonder if letters to the Bugle wouldn't be better, such would go to ALL BCA members, and not all aaca members who may or may not be interested. Just a thought. Since I wasn't a member when the elections took place, well I really don't have all the facts so to speak. My main hope/desire is that the post don't spoil the fun for some BCA members. Hey, I could be wrong, but too I wouldn't feel right if I didn't express these thoughts.

Thanks for hearing me out. I am looking forward to be a member again, and meeting many of you, sounds like a group I and my bride will enjoy.

Dale L. Smith, Indy

dlsmith1@comcast.net

1941 Limited custom

1946 Roadmaster 4dr. stock, and will remain so.

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In the last 10 minutes I joined BCA, via the net. I was a member years ago, and enjoyed such. I went to 2 or 3 nationals with my bride of 52 years, and enjoyed them. My first Nationals didn't take a liking to my modified 41 Limited, in fact most would walk up to it, and once they saw it was modified, well they walked away. Since I have modified most all the cars I have owned, well I was use to that, and being a very positive person, I just reassured myself that we ALL have our likes and dislikes, so not a big deal.

It appears to me that attitudes within the BCA have changed somewhat and that's good IMO. Such is NOT the reason I just joined again, I am a true to BUICK fan, and actually have missed the Bugle, and now that there is a aaca site that has a Buick section, well I'm having fun, fun is good!

I have been following this thread and wonder if it was/is wise, or in the best interest of the club to express ones feeling on this site regarding the recent elections. I wonder if letters to the Bugle wouldn't be better, such would go to ALL BCA members, and not all aaca members who may or may not be interested. Just a thought. Since I wasn't a member when the elections took place, well I really don't have all the facts so to speak. My main hope/desire is that the post don't spoil the fun for some BCA members. Hey, I could be wrong, but too I wouldn't feel right if I didn't express these thoughts.

Thanks for hearing me out. I am looking forward to be a member again, and meeting many of you, sounds like a group I and my bride will enjoy.

Dale L. Smith, Indy

dlsmith1@comcast.net

1941 Limited custom

1946 Roadmaster 4dr. stock, and will remain so.

Dale, we better see both your cars and your bride in South Bend, IN at the BCA Nationals next July, or else we'll send folks to get you! LOL!

as it's 'only up the road' and it's only 'down the road' from Flint, MI!!!!

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Yep, already made a list of DO's to be working on. Other than putting the two piece windshields back on, well, it a driver right now, but want to finish my Brunn concept clone sweep spear treatment.

To bad the Nationals weren't held in South Bend a few years ago, Uncle Ray had a very nice car collection/museum there. He passed away and RM held the auction. Most of the cars were cars made in Indiana, and years back many of the high end cars were produce here. He had each car dressed with mannequins dressed in period clothing.

I will be there with the 41 Limited, and maybe our son will drive the 46 Roadmaster, man, I love that car. I like owning a car before and after the war. WWII really changed the world, IMO.

Dale in Indy

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I have been following this thread and wonder if it was/is wise, or in the best interest of the club to express ones feeling on this site regarding the recent elections. I wonder if letters to the Bugle wouldn't be better, such would go to ALL BCA members, and not all aaca members who may or may not be interested.

So per this poll about 90 BCA members on here

http://forums.aaca.org/f115/you-bca-member-325239.html

Bugle circulation 7600+ members

Dale glad you are back!!

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Guest BJM
My first Nationals didn't take a liking to my modified 41 Limited, in fact most would walk up to it, and once they saw it was modified, well they walked away.

I have been following this thread and wonder if it was/is wise, or in the best interest of the club to express ones feeling on this site regarding the recent elections. I wonder if letters to the Bugle wouldn't be better, such would go to ALL BCA members, and not all aaca members who may or may not be interested.

Thanks for hearing me out. I am looking forward to be a member again, and meeting many of you, sounds like a group I and my bride will enjoy.

Dale L. Smith, Indy

dlsmith1@comcast.net

1941 Limited custom

1946 Roadmaster 4dr. stock, and will remain so.

Dale

I'm 48 years old and never saw a Modified I didn't like. I recently went to the Olds Club National meet and my friend and I spent as much time admiring their modifieds as the originals.

I agree that the next Bugle should include letters on this subject specifically because many of the non forum membership (about 99% of the BCA) is going to wonder what the heck happened? They are going to wonder why they wasted a vote on Brian if he isn't back in the saddle for another year. We thought this years vote count was low, wait till next year.

Dale, this is a very specific event we are discussing here. If you had some way to go back over the last 1-2 years you would find VERY FEW overtly political posts. Most of the time we discuss the cars.

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Well, THANK YOU for your comments.

I had been considering joining the BCA for several weeks, and reading this thread did give me food for thought, and not all good food. Had these comments been published via the Bugle it would not have contaminated my thought process. I wonder if others have been considering joining the BCA and became discouraged reading these comments? I trust such is NOT the case.

Brian's post showing that only 90 (approx) BCA members are on the aaca site, shows how few have read these comments. I wonder if all the BCA members shouldn't have been informed as well.

I'm still enthused with my new BCA membership, and looking forward to meeting and LEARNING from so many of you all.

Dale in Indy

Edited by smithbrother (see edit history)

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